Jyotiraditya pitted against Vijayvargiya

The battle for control of cricket in Madhya Pradesh has effectively boiled down to the political rivalry between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State.

The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) elections, to be held on Sunday, will see Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Jyotiraditya Scindia pitted against State Minister for Commerce and Industry Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Set for exciting finish

While the face-off between the Commerce and Industries Ministers from the Centre and the State seems set for an exciting finish, local sources indicate that the balance might just tilt a little towards Mr. Vijayvargiya, who also happens to be the incumbent Indore Divisional Cricket Association president.

The reasons being cited for this include the Scindias' “over-attention” to Gwalior, while ignoring Indore, which is a Vijayvargiya stronghold.

Earlier, media reports on the election had indicated that Mr. Scindia was counting on support from BJP leader Arun Jaitley to help him win un-opposed through some State-level political bargaining with Mr. Vijayvargiya. But that, obviously, has not seemed to work for Mr. Scindia.

“We were always ready for negotiations, to sit and sort things out, but they wanted an election and so we are fighting it,” a confident Mr. Vijayvargiya told The Hindu over phone. He however, discarded any role played by Mr. Jaitley.

“Today, because of the Scindias' long rule over the MPCA, Madhya Pradesh has the weakest cricket team. Considering the fact that it is the same State that gave the nation players like C.K. Nayudu; this is a worrying state of affairs,” he said.

While the young Congress MP has his father's cricket legacy to bank on, Mr. Vijayvargiya, with his strong political clout, promises a tough fight. At one level, the elections seem like a personal fight between the two, what with Vijayvargiya announcing that he would not contest the elections if Mr. Scindia stepped down from the post of MPCA president.